Problems with an all true bypass analog pedal board.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by kimanistar, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. kimanistar

    kimanistar Member

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    I recently did my whole pedal board over with all true bypass analog EHX pedals.What problems can I run into?I also keep hearing about buffering.Can anyone explain any of this to me?
     
  2. teleclem

    teleclem Member

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    Well, if you switch everything off, it will be like playing with a really long cable.
     
  3. Whiskey N Beans

    Whiskey N Beans Member

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  4. King Rat

    King Rat Member

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    there is a similar thread at HCFX u might wanna check out...
     
  5. Elev8gtrman

    Elev8gtrman Member

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  6. rootbeersoup

    rootbeersoup Member

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    Just buy a dedicated buffer and put it at the front of your chain. If you have a large large number of pedals, it's optimal to keep one at the beginning and one at the end. I use a JHS Little Black Buffer, but I'm sure there are others out there.
     
  7. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    When you have all true bypass pedals, and all the pedals are off, then the total capacitance of all the cable -- patch cables, cables between guitar and board and between board and amp -- is loading the guitar.

    That capacitancewill have an impact on the guitar's upper harmonics and tonal balance. More capacitance will be darker, less capacitance will be brighter.

    Sometimes, if you have enough length of cable and/or the cable is high enough capacitance, the impact on high frequency content will be problematic -- your system will sound dark and lack sparkle, then change when you switch a pedal on. But in circumstances with, say around 35 feet of total signal chain length or less, if you use low capacitance cable, it's my experience that you can likely avoid any problematic darkening.

    Or you can put a buffer with an impedance that matches your amp's (typically 1M ohm) input impedance near the front of the signal chain. A buffer loads the guitar with it's input impedance and decouples the guitar from the following devices and cable, so that the capacitance of the following cable is no longer loading the guitar. Buffers however, aren't perfect. They reduce the sense of amp responsiveness and feel and most are very slightly less than unity gain. Some pedals work by loading the guitar and/or don't respond well to a low impedance signal so they need to be ahead of buffers. Nothing's perfect.

    Note: all of this only matter when all the true bypass pedals are off. The first pedal you switch on effectively acts like a buffer, loading the guitar with it's input impedance and decoupling the following devices from loading the guitar.
     
  8. kimanistar

    kimanistar Member

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    This was very helpful.But I still have a few things to add.Number one I use couplers and high quality cables on my board and number two I never shut anything off.So does this make a difference?I'd also like to know if you could recomend a pedal that could work as a buffer.Preferably from EHX.
     
  9. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    If you never shut anything off then it doesn't matter what the bypass scheme is because the pedals are never in bypass!
    _
    The quality of the cables isn't the issue, the capacitance is. There are high quality guitar cables at 22 pF/ft and at 49 pF/ft. They will sound different despite being of equal quality.

    Again you won't gain anything from adding a buffer at the front of a pedal chain where everything is always on. The first switched on pedal is effectively buffering the guitar from the rest of the signal chain and only the cable between the guitar and that first pedal is loading the guitar with its capacitance.
     
  10. RyanFromQA

    RyanFromQA Member

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    If you're looking for something to "act" as a buffer from EHX, the only thing I can recommend is the LPB-1, which is supposed to be a neutral clean boost, which you could set low and leave on all the time.

    What do you mean by "never shut anything off"? If I had all my pedals on at once I'd have seriously nasty tone with overdrives, a fuzz, chorus, flange, delay, and roto-sim all on at once. :barf
     
  11. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

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    I would first wait to see if the signal loading bothers you at all.

    LPB-1 or LPB -2ube should work though.

    There are plenty of other buffers out there too by Radial, VHT (valveulator) and others.
     
  12. kimanistar

    kimanistar Member

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    What I meant was I always have something on.I actually have an LPB-1.That sounds like a really good idea.
     
  13. kimanistar

    kimanistar Member

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    10 so far
     

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